How to Achieve Business Excellence

Buck Jacobs
From : A Light Shines Bring in Babylon: A Handbook for Christian Business Owners, © Buck Jacobs, 1995. Used by permission.

“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before Kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” Proverbs 22:29
Running a company for Christ requires a sincere commitment to excellence in all that your company does. There simply is no alternative. Excellence is like honesty: it is part of the foundation of your company if it is to serve Christ.

We cannot even begin to calculate the value of excellence for Christians running a business as a platform for ministry. And likewise, we devastate our Christian testimony by poor quality, service or workmanship and an indifferent attitude towards excellence.

Those who do excellent work have always been respected by every society. A committed craftsman is admired and, in our own lives, we seek to do business with those we recognize as being excellent or exceptionally good at what they do. We greatly respect those who provide us with excellence and we listen to their opinions. But who listens to someone whose products or services are shoddy?

What is “excellence”? Excellence, for a Christian, is being the very best that God created you to be, never settling for less. It may not mean that you are the “best” in the world at whatever you do. But it does mean that you will be the best YOU can be. Excellence is achieving your maximum potential, progressively moving toward the highest utilization of all you have been given.

This applies not just on the individual level, but on the corporate level as well. An excellent company is one that achieves its potential and stewards its resources in accordance with God’s purposes. More specifically, here are some basic practices and commitments that lead to excellence in any company:


A commitment to excellence is articulated and demonstrated

Excellence is not just talk, but it is lived out. People who contribute to it are recognized and rewarded. The commitment to excellence is a part of every decision concerning the products or service.


The company stands squarely behind its products or service and where possible, offers a money-back guarantee

It may not always be possible to offer such a guarantee, but few things speak louder to your customers than being willing to give up your profit until they are satisfied. There are many ways to work this out, and they all communicate a message of integrity and commitment to your customer. Yes, occasionally someone takes advantage of you, but in the long run, this is a wise investment.


Complaints are recognized as opportunities for witnessing and they are handled as a priority

Our way of handling dissatisfied customers or problems is a great chance to show them the difference Jesus Christ makes in a life.

Beyond that, there’s surely a business rationale for prioritizing customer complaints. Companies lose customers over simple problems that are handled with indifference; customers are seldom lost over tough problems that are hard to solve! In reality, every complaint is an opportunity to once again show our customers why they should choose to do business with us.

Companies that try to avoid or ignore customer complaints are not excellent companies. So don’t be defensive. Everyone makes mistakes. Excellent companies capitalize on theirs.


Accountability for quality and excellence is established and maintained

Accountability makes things happen. You can expect what you are willing to inspect. Someone has to be accountable and responsible for the excellence of your company and God has decided that it is you. You can delegate, of course, but at the end of the day, excellence will be your responsibility. Don’t let others delegate up – establish and maintain accountability.


The company recognizes that excellence is defined by the customer and does not try to force its definition on them

Many fail to listen when their customers tell them what is “excellent.” The market, not our internal rationalizations, determines excellence. Accordingly, excellent companies solicit information from and listen to their customers.


Innovation is constantly sought and rewarded

A powerful enemy of excellence is the attitude that “we’ve always done it this way.” By contrast, continually seeking better ways to serve people yields genuine improvement. We serve a creative God. Unleash Him and let Him show you how good you can be.

Further, encourage your team (even if you are the only one on it) to spend time looking for innovation. Don’t just trust that it will happen. Plan for it. Set time apart to seek it. No matter how good or how bad things are, they can get better. And they will, if you innovate. Conversely, companies that don’t innovate are sooner or later pushed out of the market by those who do.


Customers are served, not merely manipulated for profit

Excellent companies do not see customers as obstacles to be overcome, but as individuals for potential ministry. For most of us this requires a very big change in our mind-set and possibly in our budget. But until we see our customers as people to be served, we will never become excellent or even effective in sharing the love of God through our companies.

Every person that God sends to us is someone whom we can touch for His kingdom. But we probably won’t get the chance, much less recognize it, if we are only looking at our customer as a dollar bill. Customers are, of course, the method God uses to bring dollar bills to our business. But for a Christian company, customers should be viewed first as opportunities for ministry, and second as sources of profits. Along with employees and suppliers, our customers are our primary areas of ministry.


Excellence requires that you stay on the cutting edge of the market

What is excellent today may not be excellent tomorrow. So, real excellence means staying truly informed and ahead of inevitable market changes. Your customers want and deserve the latest and best products or technologies available.


The goal of an excellent company is to give more for less than any competitor

“Value plus” is always our goal. Obviously, it is not always possible, but it can always be the goal, whatever the circumstances. And when it is the goal, good things happen. A corporate culture that encourages a work attitude and work ethic “as unto the Lord” is a culture that serves its customers well.

We are called to excellence by our excellent Creator. He looked at all that He had made and was able to say “It is good.” Let it be the desire of our hearts for Him to say the same about what we create.

From : A Light Shines Bring in Babylon: A Handbook for Christian Business Owners, © Buck Jacobs, 1995. Used by permission.

Buck Jacobs is the Founder and President of The C12 Group (, an organization that brings Christian business owners together to increase their business skills and show them how to use business as a platform for Christian ministry for Jesus.
Before founding C12, Buck served as director and vice-president of sales of the S.H. Mack Co. Inc. in St. Charles, Illinois.